Let’s Play

It is Monday morning and I am sitting in the lobby of a Lutheran church. How I got here is a very long story and isn’t that true of any moment of your life? Recently I spent a night in Helen, Georgia. Earlier that day I’d never even heard of Helen, Georgia and Helen, Georgia was not on the way to any place I was intending to go. As I drifted off to sleep that night in a motel in Helen, I asked myself, “What had to happen in the universe to get me to this place at this time?”

Play the game of tracking backwards and you’ll find that, “How did I get here?” is not an easy question to answer. The choice–dots on the map of life connect back before the moment that you started making choices. You might as well ask, “Why did I incarnate at this time in human history?” When I attempt to track backwards I find some choice points that are more relevant than others. I also see how much of my story is a happy accident, a collision with other people’s choices, almost all of it out of my control. Years ago I knew a woman who slept in and missed her flight. Had she used a more reliable alarm clock she would have died that day in a plane crash.

This has been the year that I learned about and let go my illusion of control. The words, ”control” and “choice” mean something vastly different to me now than they did this time last year. Last year I understood them as orientations to the world. I might have asked, “Are you trying to control your circumstance?” “Are you in choice?” It’s almost as if I understood “choice” as yet another form of “control.” They are Puritan words; both are vested with end-result expectations. Today I understand them as orientations to my Self. They are words of relationship. I understand “choice” as being conscious so that when I ask myself, “What are you choosing?” what I’m really asking myself is, “Are you present? Are you conscious of your actions and what you are engaging?”

When I ask myself, “What can I control?” my new answer is “nothing.” There are too many forces in play for me to believe that I have control over anything. I think the notion of control is a form of insanity. Go outside tonight and look into the night sky and see the vastness of this universe. Then ask yourself, “What do I control?” Instead of control, I can exercise presence. I can participate. Presence is a word of joining. Presence leads me to the center of the room. It pulls me with gentle hands from the safety of my witness perch and says, “Let’s play.”

[905. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine].

For a humorous look at the wonderful world of innovation and new ventures, check out my new comic strip Fl!p and the gang at Fl!p Comics.

2 Responses

  1. Beautiful, David. I’ll go look at the night sky. I’m exercising presence. And please remind me to share a piece of writing by Jeanne Lohmann. This IS the lesson, isn’t it.

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